Wild Florida Photo - Colaptes auratus

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Colaptes auratus


Florida native


Although the northern flicker can climb and peck on trees like other woodpeckers, it prefers to feed on the ground, digging for its favorite food - ants.
There are two color forms of this species, the yellow-shafted ranging through eastern North America and the red-shafted found in the west portion of the continent. These forms are known to hybridize where the ranges overlap, in a wide band from Alaska to the Texas panhandle. Can be found year-round throughout all of Florida, plus much of the United States, southern Canada, Cuba and parts of Mexico and Central America. One of the few woodpeckers that is strongly migratory, the summer breeding range extends throughout much of Canada and Alaska. with winter ranges in the southwest around the Gulf of California, much of Texas and areas of Mexico.
Colaptes auratus are grayish-brown, barred on top and spotted below, and a black crescent across the chest. They are 28-31 cm (11-12 in.) long with a wingspan of 42-51 cm (17-20 in.). The eastern form has bright yellow on the undersides of the wings and the central shaft, and a red crescent or Y shape on the nape of the neck. Yellow-shafted males have a black mustache. Western forms have the central shaft and undersides of the wings bright salmon red. Male red-shafted have a red mustache and the females have a faint brown mustache.

Colaptes auratus is a member of the Picidae - Woodpeckers and Wrynecks family.

For more information on this species, visit the following link:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds page for this species

Date record last modified:
Nov 11, 2018